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“Letter to the Editor” of the New York Times Online from Ambassador Andreas Jacovides
October 20 2009—No. 75 (202) 785-8430

“Letter to the Editor” of the New York Times Online from Ambassador Andreas Jacovides


WASHINGTON, DC—The following is a “Letter to the Editor” published in the New York Times online on September 23, 2009 from Ambassador Andreas Jacovides, former ambassador of Cyprus to the U.S.

Turkey’s Stance on Cyprus

To the Editor:

Your Sept. 13 editorial “A Clear Assault on the Press” is a timely reminder that Turkey has a considerable distance to cover before meeting the criteria qualifying it for membership in the European Union.

It is timely because there is now a concerted effort to promote Turkey’s European Union accession. Cyprus supports its accession, provided Turkey satisfies the necessary criteria.

Turkey supported the 2004 Annan plan for Cyprus only because its key conditions were incorporated into it. A balanced, functional compromise would have been acceptable to the Greek Cypriots in 2004, as it would be today if such a plan emerges out of the current talks.

The main difficulty is that Turkey has not moved one inch in its key demands (Turkey’s guarantee of a settlement, including the right of military intervention, and legalization of mainland Turkish settlers, among others).

The foreign minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, has demonstrated diplomatic acumen and achieved remarkable results in several areas.

One could ask why it is only on Cyprus that Turkey’s positions remain inflexible and anachronistic.

If Turkey moderated its position and reunification of Cyprus occurred, it would be a win-win situation. The moment should not be squandered.

Andreas Jacovides
New York, Sept. 19, 2009

The writer is former ambassador of Cyprus to the United States.



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